Maine Offering Towns $20k to Allow Adult-Use Cannabis Businesses

In Maine, where 93% of municipalities have been resistant to allowing adult-use cannabis sales, cannabis regulators are now offering up to $20,000 as an incentive for cities and towns to allow cannabis businesses.

Full story after the jump.

Maine’s Office of Cannabis Policy is offering municipalities that allow adult-use cannabis sales up to $20,000 to help regulation costs, Spectrum News reports. Cities and towns can use the funds to cover the costs of attorneys, drafting ordinances, staff time, and other expenses, and officials hope it could incentivize those that do not allow industry operations within their borders to reconsider.

Currently, just 7% of Maine cities and towns have opted in to allow adult-use cannabis sales, the report says.

In a press release, Erik Gundersen, state cannabis office director, said that “the reality is, no matter if a town has opted in or not, there is cannabis being bought, sold and consumed there.” 

“The most important thing we can do is try and ensure that Mainers who choose to use cannabis can do so in a well-regulated environment that safeguards public health and safety in the best way possible.” — Gundersen, in a statement, via Spectrum News 

Kate Dufour, director of Advocacy and Communications for the Maine Municipal Association, said that the $20,000 in reimbursement funds is a “cold comfort” and that municipalities “wanted more” – potentially in the form of enhanced revenue sharing.

“I think communities have made up their minds,” she told Spectrum News. “They are either in or out.” 

In July, adult-use cannabis sales in Maine totaled $16.3 million with 247,401 transactions. So far this year, sales have reached $81 million with more than 1.2 million transactions, according to state data outlined by Spectrum News. 

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